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Campbell Pope Acquisition Delivers Advantage Skill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Campbell Pope Acquisition Delivers Advantage
Key E-procurement Skills


Auckland – 12 May 2000 – Advantage Group Limited (NZSE: ADV) today announced it has enhanced its position as a leading provider of end-to-end enterprise e-commerce solutions in Asia Pacific with an agreement to purchase the business of leading enterprise solutions provider, Campbell Pope and Associates (CPA).
The conditional agreement, subject to due diligence, will see Advantage pay a total of $4.3 million for all CPA shares. The consideration will be paid in cash and Advantage shares over a period of two years.
“This represents a major acquisition of core intellectual property in e-procurement implementation for Advantage,” says Advantage CEO, Greg Cross. “CPA has an outstanding reputation in delivering solutions critical to meeting the strategic needs of large organisations. CPAs expertise resides in world-class work performed worldwide on e-procurement implementations. Its people are extremely good at understanding and unlocking a product’s potential. That they have deployed to over 150,000 seats internationally and undertaken substantial international consulting assignments speaks for itself.”
“CPA’s implementation team has immense knowledge around procurement, financial management, expense management and HR e-commerce services,” adds Cross. “Over 70% of CPA’s revenue are generated from offshore. Advantage plans to build on that capability by adding more resources to facilitate international expansion and by introducing additional product lines and packages via our international affiliations.”
“We’ve always based our business decisions on the opportunity to perform quality work and the strategic fit with our customers, and this decision is no different,” says Managing Director Tania Pope. “There’s tremendous synergy around the vision and aspirations of both companies. We see e-commerce and deployment over the web as the future. Becoming part of Advantage means we can augment our current business plans to create a larger resource base in the US and build further relationships within Asia Pacific. We will also look to add value back to our current clients through the additional solutions and expertise that Advantage has to offer. The larger Advantage resource base allows us to do this immediately.”
CPA will work with Advantage E-Commerce’s existing consulting and web development arms to design, develop and implement strategic e-commerce solutions that combine high-level business analysis and Internet technologies to drive cost out of business processes.
International E-Commerce Opportunities
Together with our own consultancy expertise, this acquisition confirms Advantage as one of the largest e-commerce solutions companies in the Asia Pacific region, through our bringing together a strong and experienced team of professionals to offer a full range of e-commerce solutions.”
“Jupiter Research predicts that the global e-commerce services market will grow to from $90.1 billion this year to 162.9 billion in 2003,” says Cross. “This creates enormous opportunities to offer consulting, implementation and operations services to the Internet services market. Companies, like Advantage, with the capabilities, the experience and the delivery track record required to build e-commerce infrastructure and deliver complex Internet and e-commerce solutions, are best positioned to benefit from this demand.”
“CPA brings with it significant partner relationships and a stellar client list,” adds Cross. “The company is extremely well-respected and enjoys long-standing relationships with both blue chip clients and staff.”
“Our alignment with Advantage means we can now apply our skills to the fast-growing e-commerce sector,” says Director, Professional Services Colin Campbell. “This is a great opportunity for CPA.”
Campbell Pope – Clients, Services and Partners
Based in Wellington since 1993 and now with offices in Australia and the US, CPA is an information systems implementation company with particular expertise in specialist enterprise financial, procurement, human resource and expense management solutions.
Current clients are based around New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and the United States and include New Zealand Post, Todd Corporation, Bonlac Foods, DuPont Australian National Audit Office, BHP Australia, BHP USA, Lucent Technologies, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, New York Times, Ontario Ministry of Labor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fletcher Energy, and ACC.
The 16-strong company is recognised as one of Concur’s top global partners based on deployed seats. CPA has considerable experience in project implementation – including the implementation of a 10,000 global user system licensed to BHP – as well as high-level expertise in enterprise-wide procurement, expense tracking and human resources management. These skills, when matched with Advantage’s experience in web development, consulting and project management will enable Advantage to offer a complete enterprise solution for electronically enabling procurement, expense tracking and human resource management.
This announcement comes after Advantage has announced its alliance with Concur Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CNQR), to deliver web-enabled business to business e-commerce solutions for the workplace. Concur is a leading international provider of workplace e-commerce solutions such as corporate procurement, human resources self-service and travel and expense management. The two companies will work together to facilitate and support the implementation of Concur’s eWorkplace™ suite of Web-based applications for customers within their enterprises in New Zealand.
The agreement sees Advantage pay $2.8 million in shares on settlement. One year after settlement, Advantage will issue $750,000 in shares and pay the same amount in cash for the remaining interests. Each issue of shares will be made at the prevailing market price or may be satisfied in cash at Advantage’s election. Advantage does not need to seek shareholder approval for this transaction. Assuming the agreement becomes unconditional before 24 May 2000, the settlement date is set for 31 May.
Company backgrounds
About Advantage
Advantage Group Limited, an NZSE listed company, is a leading supplier of e-commerce and transaction processing solutions in New Zealand, Australia and throughout the southern hemisphere. The company has three business units: point-of-sale equipment, retail solutions and business-to-business e-commerce. Advantage provides hardware, software, transaction processing and funds transfer capabilities to enable complete e-commerce solutions.
About CPA
Founded in 1993, CPA is a 16-strong solutions company focussed on providing and implementing financial, procurement, human resource and expense management solutions for large scale globally capable enterprises. With offices in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, CPAs reputation has been built on developing solutions that are of the highest quality and appropriate to the client’s needs.
ENDS

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